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[center He [i did] have a point. If he’d been unsure he could have called, but something about the thought of disrupting Matt’s work didn’t settle well with him. Especially considering it wasn’t like he was some rando. Of all persons, he should’ve been the last to be derailing his workday. Well, wouldn’t you know, it had panned out for just about the worst, but he was hoping some good would come of that.
At some point during his short stay, he’d issued a very sober apology and had spent the next day or two trying to gather himself and catch up on a bit of reading for an experiment that would soon be underway. Except... it was tough to puzzle out. Maybe he was lacking the inspiration? Maybe he was just too bored, but his excitement for the pending endeavour didn’t hold his attention as it should have.
This, he decided, was the only reason he’d decidedly gone for a walk. Walks helped, right? Fresh air, sunlight, stimulation? Who could argue with that logic? It’s not like he was getting much done pacing trenches into the floors of his apartment.
Thermos of tea in hand, he strode down boulevard after boulevard, stopping briefly into a cute little boutique to pick up a few things before he was on his way again. Then it was another trip into a fabric shop to stock up on a few things. The only downside to this would be having to walk with it all back, but it definitely didn’t hurt to get some exercise in.
Ambling sling, he debated stopping. Flower shops were one of his guilty pleasures, despite the fact that he grew so many of his own, and going to visit them was typically hours lost to the void.
Still, maybe a small peak wouldn’t-
Wait... was that [i Matthias]? He’d never run into him before... at least not at this shop. Which meant he was either that good at carefully orchestrating these trips or it was his first time there. Or neither. Who knew. He wasn’t keen on making any further assumptions.
Regardless, as though of their own volition, his let himself into the shop and greeted the owner politely, offering a fond smile as he quietly approached the brunet. Looked like a whole lot of struggle for a flower shop. A little too much, if he was honest.
[#1cc677 [i “Matt..? What are you trying to do exactly? Besides look ridiculously tortured over these arrangements.”]]Wait a second, who was he buying flowers for? There wasn’t anyone that he knew of romantically, and after the shit he pulled, he sure as hell wasn’t getting any.
Which pretty much narrowed down the candidates to one. It made a lot more sense that he was here agonising over a bouquet for his mother than some ho that wasn’t him. Because let’s be honest, he’d never made it a secret that he didn’t approve of anyone else moving into the picture.
Clearing his throat, Dexter eyed him for several moments. [#1cc677 [i “Do you want help?”]] The ginger delicately drew a bit of baby’s breath up to his nose and hummed. He looked far more relaxed now that he wasn’t in his professional attire. An oversized button down, rolled back from slender wrists, jeans and a pair of soft leather boots.
[#1cc677 [i “If it’s for Mama, I’d suggest pulling together your own arrangement...”]] He mused for a moment or two, eyes wandering over the selection. [#1cc677 [i “For example...”]] He plucked up a few different things, murmuring to himself. [#1cc677 [i “Every flower has a meaning, and even if she doesn’t happen to know it, it does matter. I imagine you’re grateful for her. Who wouldn’t be. And I know you love her beyond words, so... this-“]] He kept the baby’s breath, added some peach roses, calla lilies, a bit of lavender. Then he added daisies, little fern sprigs, and chicory flowers. It was a soft but still resplendent arrangement, fixed so that the colours played off of one another. A few asters here and there have it the appearance of a little garden, almost.
[#1cc677 [i “Just an example, but it’s yours if you want it..?”]] he had still picked them with care, but he wouldn’t have been offended if Matt said no. [#1cc677 [i “I can explain more about the meanings if you’d like, too; a quick run down, since you seem like you’re in a hurry.”]]
He was so cute, even distraught. Dexter almost wanted to be mad he’d seen so little of him lately, but he wasn’t about to be salty because he was doing his job. He [i was] a doctor, after all. [#1cc677 [i “Besides, I kind of maybe sort of owe you for making a mess, so consider it a partial apology?”]]
[center Both Haans and Matthias were already fed up with Dexter’s drug induced behavior. At least the foolishness wasn’t entirely on Dexter’s own accord. Because if this was how the small man acted regularly, then Matt would have had many stern words to share about proper compliance. This was his workplace and he appreciated it more than anything when patience, familiar or not, were kind and trusting enough to not give him and his colleagues too much of a hassle.]
[center So, in hindsight, Dr. Kohlmann’s impromptu visit was an unconventional blessing in disguise for Matthias. And as for Haans, it was merely an expectation. The German man knew that it wasn’t a matter of [i if] Dr. Kohlmann would pay her son a visit. It was simply a matter of [i when] she would actually show up.]
[center The two doctors then observed the interaction shared between Dexter and his mother. Despite the current circumstances being as serious as they were, the exchange between mother and son was hysterical. Haans had to stifle a chuckle and hide his smirk while Matthias stood, preparing the necessary tools for a blood draw. [#be0407 “I will get right on conducting the RBC test, Dr. Kohlmann. I’ll record the results in his chart, as per usual. But would you like for me to also forward the results to you when they become available?”] the male inquired, pulling up a rolling stool next to Dexter’s bedside.]
[center After Dr. Kohlmann’s departure, Matthias got to work on drawing blood for the test his mother requested. Although it did involve poking Dex with yet another needle, Matt made sure to be as careful as possible to reduce discomfort before handing off the blood vials to Haans so he could initiate the test.]
[center [#be0407 “Dexter, your mother is just worried, that’s all. I think her purported saltiness about not being ‘princess carried’ doesn’t apply here.”] Matt gazed at the smaller man, exhausted, and exasperated. But these kinds of anomalies in his work were fairly normal, as irritating as they were. [#be0407 “I just wish that you would have called me if you were unsure about your dosages, Dexter. I would have been more than happy to explain to you, again, what you had to do.”] the male shook his head. Some patients simply just baffled him too much. [#be0407 “Please, next time you’re unsure about medicines, call me. I’ll do my best to answer, I promise.”]]
[center [b ~~~]]
[center The RBC test had come back showing Dexter was lower than normal, which was expected as that anemia was clearly noted all throughout his medical file. But it wasn’t anything too bad at the moment, so a transfusion wasn’t needed. But as more time passed Matt had come to a consensus with Haans about discharging Dexter from the hospital to rest up at home, with a new doctor’s note just in case he needed it for work.]
[center This was a few days ago, however, so Matt had gone back to business as usual for the rest of that day. Now, the man was on call for the day, so Matthias had decided to take advantage of this opportunity to spend time with his mother. Matt’s mom was always nagging him about the risks of overworking himself and how he needed to see her more often to relieve potential stress. All of this still happened even though Matthias insisted that he was fine and he was just busy because that was a part of the nature of his work.]
[center So for the day Matthias planned to sit down at a fine restaurant with his mother for a marvelous lunch to catch up on life and how the other one was doing. Properly. Matt had been very traditional with his mother, hence him traveling to his favorite florist’s shop before his scheduled lunch date. He had wanted to pick her up for the event too, but she scolded him saying she was not too old to drive herself. Matt loved his mother to death, but she sure was stubborn when she wanted to be!]
[center Once he parked his car Matthias exited it, promptly smoothing out his dark gray suit. If there was any peeve the Austrian man had, it was a crinkly and unkempt suit. That aesthetic was not his by any means. He liked to look sharp and proper nearly at all times. [i Especially] for a lunch date with his mother. He loved and respected her enough to not disrespect her by showing up poorly groomed and out of shape.]
[center After everything was found to be satisfactory Matt ducked into the florist’s, the all familiar bell jingling sounding off when he entered. The woman behind the counter looked up from the glass vase she was filling with an arrangement and waved, welcoming Matt to the shop.]
[center Generally Matthias didn’t really need help selecting a stunning arrangement for his mother, so he went to work to peruse the inventory available. He didn’t want to go the cliché route and bye her roses; that was a standard choice. And Matt felt his mother was far above standard, so she deserved a unique bouquet to match. But wanted the flowers to be aromatic, as well as colorful, but not tacky. He smell tested several bouquets, inspected the quality and condition of the flowers, and looked at the all around to determine if the color scheme was appropriate.]
[center [#be0407 [i ‘Perhaps I’m being too picky…’]] the male thought as he heaved a sigh, setting down what felt like the millionth bouquet. [#be0407 [i ‘But Mama deserves only the best, however I cannot be late…’]] It was all one big time crunch and a fight against perfection. But Matthias wished it wouldn’t be so hard of a decision. Pretty flowers that smelled great; how hard was it to actually find those?...]
[center At the very least, no one had died, and if anything, that they'd found him at all was good fortune unto itself. Had he wandered out of the hospital,
it might've been an entirely different story. [#1cc677 [i "Ugh- what are you giving to meee?"]] He piddled with the I.V. some, paling when he realised there was a needle in his skin. Two, in fact. [#1cc677 [i "Oh, God..."]]
[#1cc677 [i "Excuse- can you not-"]] Frustration from his slowed reactions made fending off the physicians rather difficult, especially considering-
[i Oh!] Look who it was! [#1cc677 [i "MUTTER-"]]
[i [#561234 "Hush, you,"]] Valerie slapped his hand gently, fixing him with a look that warned against any further resistance whilst she looked over his chart. The blonde also took care to peruse the note progression since his treatment had been started, a bit of the tension melting out of her expression. [i [#561234 "At the very least, there's improvement. Keep me updated on how he is doing. And the next set of tests you run, check on his RBC? Unrelated but still important."]]
Dexter cast his mother a look of muted displeasure, the male for the most part too exhausted to argue anyway. The ginger was far more content to curl up and fall into slumber anyway, but if he did... didn't that mean he wouldn't get to see the handsome Dr. Riedl? What if he left?
Peeking one eye open to inspect the man, Dexter offered a small, dimpled smile, amusement dawning over his features despite the lack of apparent cause.
[i [#561234 "Oh, and I'll be investigating in the meantime to see what exactly happened. Never mind the one incident. This could just as easily have panned out [i far] worse."]] Honestly, the incompetence killed her sometimes. Not that it would prevail for much longer if she had her way, though. She'd been battling with the chief of staff for how long now over orientations or better in-house training? Maybe all it would take was to threaten to sue his ass.
[#1cc677 [i "Eh? Don't leave, please?"]]
[i [#561234 "I'll be back before long, and you're in quite good hands here, Dexter,"]]
[#1cc677 [i "What hands?"]]
[i [#561234 "Dexer..."]]
[#1cc677 [i "Seriously, I have only these,"]]
[i [#561234 "DEXTER,"]]
[#1cc677 [i "Pretty sure I'd feel some hands,"]] He muttered, peering at her from the very corner of his eye. Better than that, he could have gone for some cuddles. Was that against hospital protocol?
[i [#561234 "...I'm going now, so [u behave.]"]] She announced, managing to contain her amusement in favour of appearing more stern. That boy, sometimes.
[i [#1cc677 "She's just salty she didn't get princess carried,"]]
Yep. That was it. She was definitely salty because nobody was scooping her up to cart her back to supervised bed rest. It would be [i insane] to think that perhaps that [i wasn't] a good thing.
Then again, princess carry from Dr. Riedl? Ehhh, almost worth the nausea and dizziness. Even if it had been particularly short-lived.]
[center It was almost comical the looks Matthias had received whilst traveling back to Dexter’s room, carrying the smaller man as Haans swiftly trailed behind them. The Austrian man knew that he was still set early in his career, and that he would see some crazy shit in the years to come. But this occasion involving Dexter was wild in its own right. Matt tried his best to keep a serious face on, but that ended up failing when Dexter draped his arms around his neck and shoulders. Dr. Riedl’s lips were being tugged up at the corners, entirely out of amusement. Sometimes patients were just a whole mystery on their own.]
[center The sensation of Dexter nuzzling his neck was an odd one, however Matt knew that he just needed to get Dexter settled and on a proper treatment regimen to quell his drug toxicity. Since Matthias also wasn’t trusting a single nurse that popped in to offer assistance, Haans bounced a few ideas off Matt to come to a joint decision on what was best for smaller man. What the pair ended up doing was giving a prescription administered though Dexter’s I.V. [#be0407 “And at least one of us, if not both, will be here to monitor your progress, Herr Quinn. We cannot leave you alone during your stay here.”] Matt mentioned, not willing to have the hospital misplacing Dexter again. If they lost him a second time, then Matthias would be on the hook the second time around. And as a doctor, he was not about to risk his license and reputation over someone else’s initial fuck up.]
[center Haans and Matthias then simply hung around, taking notes of Dexter’s vitals and periodically doing blood tests to track the man’s progression. Doctor Austerlitz was busy jotting down Dexter’s stats when he heard an all too familiar clicking sound. He froze, ceasing his writing, knowing damn well what the source of the clicking was.]
[center On her way in, never breaking stride, Dr. Kohlmann stared down every nurse in the E.R., all of which promptly pointed her towards the room Dexter was located in. As she got closer she had roped in Gerald whom she had seen in the waiting room, which in itself was ridiculous. [#fa0039 [i ‘If the nurses can’t do their job and watch him, somebody has to!’]] Valérie thought as she closed in on the room her son was lying in.]
[center [b “Doctor Kohlmann! Funny seeing you down here..”] Haans exclaimed before his voice faded out sheepishly. If anyone could tell when Val was fifty shades of pissed off, it was Haans. He had the misfortune, but also delight, of seeing her angry disposition being thrusted upon past students who needed to get their act together. [#fa0039 “Doctor Austerlitz.”] was all the German man got, accompanied by a curt nod.]
[center [#fa0039 “Doctor Riedl. What the hell is going on here?”] Dr. Kohlmann inquired, though it sounded more like a straight demand. [#be0407 “The E.R. nurses assigned to Herr Quinn’s case failed at their duties, thus losing him. Dr. Austerlitz was kind enough to help me track him down, and we found him in the O.R. wing. But luckily Herr Quinn was brought in as soon as he was to treat his drug toxicity. But Dr. Austerlitz and I have since begun treatment to flush out his system and are already noting improvement from his initial condition upon arrival.”] Matthias said, also irritated as hell, but not with Doctor Kohlmann in any way. He was still livid about the nurses’ failures.]
[center [#be0407 “In a few hours he should be cleared out and ready to go home. Just needs plenty of fluids and bed rest after discharge.”] Matt added, Haans quickly nodding when Dr. Kohlmann glanced over at his to gain some form of extra confirmation…]
[center The entire ordeal [i was] quite the fiasco, wasn't it? Here Dexter was, peering over some fairly [i gnarly] stuff, and acting as though this was all well and good. The head surgeon seemed to be happy enough to greet him, but Dexter was a little too far gone for that. Who was he? The question spiraled about in his mind, tumbling over itself until he was completely lost in the cacophony of incoherent thought.
It seemed like just moments before he was being led away, out of the space, away from the body and the scent of blood and flesh, and stale, sterile O.R. air. Pressing his eyes shut, he stared at the doctor but couldn't seem to find the words to offer the man. Surely he had a name? Though he couldn't actually find it.
Shaking his head at the newly appeared doctor, Dexter simply giggled, confused and mildly startled as he ran a check on him. Words escaped him for the most part, but he was beginning to not enjoy this dream so much. It all felt like such a blur of time. One minute he was being checked, and in the next, that painfully attractive doctor bloke had turned up, bouncing along the hall.
Quinn? Who was Quinn? Was he Quinn?
In the next moment, he was being scooped up into the man's arms. Okay... this was better. Definitely better. If this was a dream, was it okay for him to take liberties? Dexter smiled at the thought, arms sliding about the doctor's neck, face nuzzling beneath his jaw and tucking in close to his throat. He smelled nice, [i and] he was warm.
Dexter hardly noticed the looks, too busy brushing his slender digits through the brunet's hair. He felt tired - more than it made sense to. Weren't you supposed to feel weightless and happy in dreams? He shut his eyes and wilted instead, grateful he didn't have to walk.
Before long he was being put in bed. Between stolen peeks and the murmur of chatter, he was happy to just lie there. Jesus he didn't feel well...
Uncomfortable in his clothes, he turned over, hardly listening to the newly presented bathroom options. Peeking one eye open, hhe squinted at Dr. Riedl, a lack of understanding pinching the ginger's brows. "Mm..?" Why should he? He was perfectly capable of holding his own dick. He didn't need Asterlips to hold it for him.
Gerald, in the meantime, had been made to wait on any further information, and as the man paced the floors, he hoped that for certain Dexter would soon be found and that the man's mother didn't come to storm the wards. What with word getting around, it was sure that she would catch wind of it soon.
Fucking hell... she was going to have a full fit when she heard about this. Perhaps he should've warned that doctor fellow?
[center Matthias truly couldn’t even begin to fathom how allegedly trained hospital staff could possibly lose track of a patient; one in the emergency room, no less. He genuinely wished that there were more readily available answers to give the man standing in front of him. It did not take a brain surgeon to see that Gerald was monumentally pissed off about the situation at hand. It wasn’t like Matthias could blame him!]
[center Dr. Riedl simply listened to Gerald as he vented his frustration. [#be0407 “I do apologize for this incident, sir. I assure you that I will have you updated on any new developments.”] Matthias stated, tense but hopeful that they’d find Dexter in a timely manner. There was no way the intoxicated man could have gotten very far. It was only a matter of time before they found him. At least, that’s what Matthias’ thoughts were as he pulled out his phone to call his friend and colleague Haans. Matt figured that recruiting an extra person wouldn’t hurt the search efforts. Dr. Riedl then turned, moving along to aid in the search. While on the phone Matthias relayed the current situation to Haans who was currently located in the surgical wing of the hospital.]
[center [#be0407 “Please, I need your help in doing a sweep of the rooms and staff. If you find him, immediately let me know. His drug toxicity levels are dangerously high.”] Matt huffed, experiencing a whole flurry of emotions ranging from rage to mortification.]
[center [#14cc00 “You’ll be the first to know, Matthias. Don’t forget to breathe. We’ll find the guy, okay?”] Haans responded, going through the observation decks of each O.R., using the speaker to communicate with the staff and see if anyone had information on Dexter’s whereabouts.]
[center [b ~~~]]
[center Meanwhile in one of the various operation rooms, Doctor Dreschner stood over a patient whose hip he was operating on. They were conducting a total hip replacement due to the severe trauma the patient’s pelvis sustained during an accident. The man was surrounded by several of his resident students as well as staff members. All of the skin, adipose tissue, and muscles were being held apart by retractors, allowing Dr. Dreschner and his team to disarticulate the damaged hip joint. The lead surgeon's tone of voice as he spoke to his students and staff was cool and collected. A total hip replacement was nothing new to Dr. Dreschner. He had successfully completed an innumerable amount of these kinds of surgeries. To the German, this was mere child's play. But it was necessary to do not only for his students, but obviously the patient who required a new hip.]
[center Dr. Dreschner was making a point in regards to the damaged bone as it was removed when a new person entered the O.R. While it was not uncommon for staff to cycle in and out during procedures, Dr. Dreschner did not recognize the new entity in the operation room. Yes, everyone was in scrubs and masks. However, the years of experience have trained Dr. Dreschner to be excellent at identifying people by their eyes alone. Thus, Dexter's eyes were a dead giveaway that he was not in regular attendance of said surgeries. This prompted Dr. Dreschner to rack his brain for who it could possibly be. But alas, no one came to mind. He then noticed Dexter's dilated pupils and off kilter appearance. He definitely was not supposed to be in the O.R.]
[center [b "Excuse me, sir. But may I ask for your name?"] Dr. Dreschner inquired casually, as to not cause alarm amongst the legitimate staff. The man continued with his work as he patiently awaited a reply. Then the all too familiar beep of the intercom system sounded off, causing Dr. Dreschner to peer up at whoever has pressed the button in the observation room. [b "Ah! Dr. Austerlitz! Were you in need of something?"]]
[center [#14cc00 "Yes, actually. I'm searching for a Dexter Quinn and was wondering if anyone had information on his location. It's fairly important as he is an E.R. patient that has gone missing."] Haans huffed, slightly winded from running all over the hospital's surgical wing. [b "Just how om Earth does the E.R. staff literally lose a critical patient???"] Dr. Dreschner scoffed, nearly laughing at the idea. [#14cc00 "I'm not sure! I'm just trying to help Matthias find the guy, Doctor Dreschner."]]
[center [b "Poor Matthias. He must be pulling his hair out over this fiasco, huh? I do have a nice lad down here you might want to speak with, though, Dr. Austerlitz. I believe he might be lost anyhow."] Dr. Dreschner mentioned before he asked two staff members to guide Dexter out of the O.R. Immediately Haans made his way to the corridor that led into the surgery prep room. Naturally the man hoped for the best, but was prepared for the worst. That was when he noticed that the shorter man before him was [i extremely] high.]
[center Haans carefully peeled of the surgical cap and mask off of Dexter, conducting a brief visual analysis as he did so. [#14cc00 "I'm Doctor Austerlitz. Can you tell me who you are?"] Haans asked, trying to gauge Dexter's mental clarity. He proceeded to pull his stethoscope from his neck neck, checking Dexter's breathing and heart rate.]
[center With a frustrated sigh Haans withdrew his phone and quickly dialed Matt's number. [#14cc00 "Yeah, Matthias. I think I found your guy. Kid somehow managed to stumble through surgery prep and walked in on your instructor and his staff in the middle of a total hip replacement."] Haans honestly wanted to laugh. The circumstances were so absurd that it nearly hurt the man to suppress his chuckling. [#14cc00 "We're outside of O.R. Five. Do make it snappy, Matthias."]]
[center After hanging up Haans made sure to track Dexter's numbers until Matthias arrived. [#14cc00 "You really did a number on yourself, huh? You have to be much more careful with yourself."] Haans shook his head as he spoke. This whole incident was definitely going to make for a crazy story to tell in the future.]
[center Minutes later a frazzled-looking Matthias sprinted up to the two, more than relieved to see that Dexter was found. [#be0407 “You must not wander off like that again, Herr Quinn. It’s very dangerous to do so.”] Matt huffed, quickly inspecting their surroundings. [#be0407 “And there are no wheelchairs… [i Splendid.]”] Dr. Riedl pinched the bridge of his nose for a moment before turning to Haans. [#14cc00 “His heart rate and breathing are low, but not critical. His reaction time is significantly stunted too. But that’s no shocker. So as long as we get him back to his room and administer treatment he should be just fine.”] Haans nodded as Matt moved towards them.]
[center The Austrian then scooped up Dexter into his arms, not wanting to waste time getting a wheelchair or a gurney to them. Matthias was already perturbed enough as it was. He just wanted to get Dexter stabilized, and eventually released. But even then he’d have to have a chat with the man about reading labels and staying informed as to avoid an unnecessary hospital visit in the future. As Dr. Riedl strode along while carrying Dexter, he received a few strange looks from nurses and fellow doctors. But he knew they’d probably find the story hysterical later on. Haans made sure to follow along simply as added support, knowing Matthias could use all the help he could get.]
[center Upon arrival back to Dexter’s room, Matt made sure to carefully set the man back onto his bed. Haans decided to speak with Gerald and inform him on Dexter’s condition. [#14cc00 “We found him in an operation room, surgical cap on and all. His stats are low, fortunately they are not life-threatening. We’ll be putting him on I.V.s to flush out his system and conducting periodic tests to check his progress. And when he’s clear we’ll draw up the discharge paperwork and you will be on your way.”] Haans explained, thankfully on the chipper side that day.]
[center Matthias meticulously went about hooking the man up to a heart and stat monitor. As he did this Haans lent a hand by getting an I.V. started in Dexter’s left arm. The two doctor’s did share a constant back and forth to relay what the other was doing. They worked incredibly well together and got an exceptional amount of work done.]
[center [#be0407 “Herr Quinn, if for whatever reason you need to get up, let’s say to use the restroom, tell Dr. Austerlitz. He’ll be happy to assist you when needed.”] Matt stated, catching an odd look from Haans. For a minute the German hoped that he wouldn’t be needed elsewhere later because only God knew how long it would take to get Dexter back to where he needed to be before being discharged…]
[center Needless to say, Gerald didn't even remotely understand how they had managed to [i lose] him. First and foremost, he wasn't just some stupid, drunken bastard who'd managed to overdo it. He was on [i drugs], and more importantly, he was probably going to hit the floor soon enough. Hopefully, though, it wouldn't come to that before they could get him into a bed and those toxins out of his system.
Rifling about in his pocket, he fetched the bottle of medication and snatched up a chart, carefully counting out the number of pills in twos before reading over the bottle to see how many had been dispensed. [#8559ab "This is a fucking disaster. If anything happens to him, there will be hell to pay. And no -
nothing like that... Nothing relevant anyway. Dexter isn't that sort of man. Curl up and cry into a tub of sorbet, yes, but overdosing would be too much."] he muttered, his muted rage not in the least bit relieved sans any further information on his whereabouts.
* * *
From the moment he'd left the dizzying E.R. wing, Dex had been practically floating through each moment. He'd passed through rooms, taken the occasional wheelchair ride, and had even managed to get up a few floors with a couple of other doctors. They assumed he was a visitor of course, making their small talk, and the moment they'd departed, he'd managed to dip into a medical supply room.
Nothing of much interest there beyond the scrubs he'd managed to pilfer. He changed into them easily, giggling the entire time. There! Now he would match those gents in the lift. He'd always thought doctors were admirable. What harm could a bit of dress up do?
Clumsily tying on a scrub cap, he'd moved on then to the mask and departed the closet only to end up wandering about the floors in socks. Well... until he came to the surgical wing. Everything was beginning to feel more like a dream than ever, and at that point, he could hardly feel himself moving through space.
He ventured into the O.R.'s scrub room, recalling a scene from one of his medical dramas when the doctors would thoroughly scrub at their hands. His movements were sluggish and clumsy, and he dropped the brush a number of times, but ultimately, he managed to get his hands dry, wandering into the O.R. mid-surgery.
[+cornflowerblue "Who in the world-"]
[#1cc677 "Carry on~,"] He urged.
[+cornflowerblue "Are you a resident here??"] One of the surgical nurses queried, to which Dexter simply nodded his head. Of course he was a resident. He paid taxes and everything!
Dexter moved in close to see what was happening, his vision picking up in blurs. Like seeing the after image at the second to last shutter speed.
[#1cc677 "Whoa... what h-"] He cleared his throat, tongue dry. [#1cc677 "This--?"] He gestured to their work.
[center The rest of Doctor Riedl’s evening after getting out of work was rather uneventful. This was something he truly didn’t mind at all. A little peace and quiet went a long way for the Austrian. He and his best friend/colleague had decided to purchase take-out from a local pizzeria, figuring that a night in with food and Netflix would suffice. Matthias’ friend, who went by the name of Haans, was working on his residency as a neurosurgeon. So, the two men always had talks about their work, given that the work of orthopedic and neuro surgeons often overlapped. Haans, however, was particularly ambitious and was shooting for a fellowship in neuro-oncological surgery to get a sub-specialty under his belt.]
[center Matthias, on the other hand, was unsure if he wanted to go so far as to obtain a fellowship. He had less than a year left of his residency as a general orthopedic surgeon. The man was perfectly content with that. However, Matthias did know that if he pursued a fellowship, he’d want to sub-specialize in spinal surgery. [#be0407 [i ‘But do I [i really] want to do that? I mean, I’m already a doctor, and that’s respectable enough as it is. But it would be smart to add to my credentials. Given how long this has taken, an extra year of training really is nothing…’]] the man was extremely conflicted. Matthias knew it’d be good to have a sub-specialty, but the doctor never liked doing things he had no passion for. Orthopedic surgery; Matthias loved it with every ounce of his being. It was this love for his work that allowed him to ensure his patients they were receiving the best care possible.]
[center [#be0407 [i ‘I’m certainly going to have to figure it out eventually, aren’t I?’]] Matthias thought to himself, listening to Haans make a multitude of terrible puns about the brain. [#be0407 “There are billions of nerves in the human body, and you’re managing to get on the very last one I have. Calm down, Haans.”] Matt shook his head. An uneventful evening filled with pizza and mediocre jokes? [i Splendid].]
[center [b ~~~]]
[center The following morning was completely booked for Matthias. He was sitting in on lectures well past noon. And if the Austrian were to be honest, he was running entirely upon caffeine and pure determination. As always, though, Matthias vigorously compiled a mountain of notes to study from later. It was no secret that Matthias was a studious individual. He made it a point to put his studies before virtually anything else. Aside from his work and education, Matthias took great care in maintaining loyalty to his family back in Salzburg; especially to his mother. While his grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins all held an important spot in Matthias’ heart, his mom was his number one supporter. Frau Riedl was her son’s number one fan and Matthias’ ultimate inspiration. If there was anyone Matthias would go to the ends of the Earth for, it would be for his mom. No questions asked.]
[center Matthias’ surgical instructor, Dr. Dreschner, had called upon him in the late afternoon. Doctor Dreschner hadn’t said why he needed Matthias, however, just that he had to come down to the O.R. as soon as he could. While Matthias contemplated what Dr. Dreschner could possibly need of him in that moment, Matt was also suspicious. While Doctor Dreschner was a brilliant, seasoned surgeon, the man was known around the hospital to be a bit of a jokester. Regardless of any preconceived impressions, Matthias did his best to arrive in a timely manner.]
[center The man was pleasantly surprised to find out that Doctor Dreschner wasn’t trying to prank him, but instead wanted him to join the surgical team for an operation on a car accident victim’s spine. [b “I heard from down the grapevine that you were thinking of pursuing a ortho spinal surgery fellowship after your residency here. As a spine specialist myself, I feel compelled to convert you to the specialty side. So here we are.”] Dr. Dreschner mentioned as both he and Matthias washed up in preparation for surgery. Matt couldn’t help but chuckle at his instructor’s words. In the Austrian’s mind, Doctor Dreschner was a peculiar man. Peculiar, but incredibly astute. Matthias found it funny how his superior always joked with other instructors how he was going to recruit all the residents into orthopedic spinal surgery. It was just a running gag among the licensed surgeons, and Dr. Dreschner did nothing to stop the perpetuation of the joke itself.]
[center [b ~~~]]
[center While the surgery itself was relatively simple in theory, the patient’s vitals were acting unpredictably while under anesthesia. That presented a whole host of obstacles to overcome while working on repairing the damaged vertebrae as best they could. Doctor Dreschner and Riedl worked alongside neurosurgeons as there appeared to be nerve damage as a result of the nasty car crash the patient had been in. So, there were several doctors, nurses, et cetera working together, no matter how dysfunctional it may have appeared to outside eyes.]
[center The surgery was quite the endeavor to undertake, but the surgical team did everything they possibly could for the time being to restore structure to the woman’s spine. However, they knew the nerve damage dealt to patient was permanent. She wouldn’t be able to walk on her own without some type of support. She’d have to use a cane or walker, or use a wheelchair in the worst-case scenario. When Matthias was washing up to go back to work he had to remind himself that medicine wasn’t always pretty. In medicine, you had to be passionate, yes. But you could not get emotionally invested. That was the quickest way to burn one’s self out of the field.]
[center And that was something Matt struggled with, even after all the years of training he had undergone so far. He was in the field of medicine for a plethora of reasons; one being to help those who required it. Matt had essentially devoted his life’s work to aiding others in their time of need. Though he was still extremely young for a doctor, let alone a surgeon, Matthias wished for his patients to have the best quality of life possible. But a lot of the time, things simply just did not pan out how you wanted them to. That was a fact of life that Matt was all too familiar with.]
[center He was fortunate enough to not be on clinic rotation, therefore took some time to really sit in the cafeteria. Matthias didn’t eat, though. He had brought along his briefcase that held an array of his school supplies. The man wanted to use this valuable time to knock out his required reading and review his notes from the day’s lectures. The man relished the general silence as the cafeteria was never too busy in the evening hours. The quiet allowed Matthias to truly focus and even unwind a bit as he studied for the constant stream of exams he felt like there were.]
[center [b ~~~]]
[center The emergency room, compared to the cafeteria, was on the exact opposite end of the calm spectrum. Civilians were coming in left and right with all types of injuries and afflictions. The flood of new patients inundated the Emergency Room staff. Everyone was doing [i something] to conduct all the necessary tests and dispense the proper treatments, regardless if that required overnight hospital admission or not. The hectic buzz within the E.R. was nothing new. It was practically the status quo.]
[center When Dexter was brought into the E.R., he was immediately put under the watch of a nurse while a battery of blood tests was being ran to assess his current state of health. Initially, it was thought that perhaps Dexter was suicidal and had tried to overdose, hence why a nurse had been assigned to closely watch the man. But that nurse on ‘guard’ duty had soon become distracted by a disgruntled family member of a different patient, swearing that details in the chart were false and had been fabricated… Something one hundred percent absurd, but still had to be dealt with.]
[center How it happened was a bit of a mystery, but Dexter’s sudden disappearance came as a surprise when a separate nurse approached Gerald, carrying a copy of Dexter’s chart and blood test results. One could see in her face the onset of pure mortification when the realization set in that a patient was [i missing.] Something like that was only of the stuff you’d hear in wild stories a friend might tell over a drink after work for shits and giggles. But, no. This was very real and was happening!]
[center The nurse then checked Dexter’s file to see who was the prescribing physician. Upon noticing that it was Matthias, the nurse sent out an emergency page to Matt’s phone to get him down to the emergency room. She then proceeded to notify the head of her department as well as security to start the search for Dexter.]
[center Still sitting in the cafeteria, Matthias was casually flipping through his notebook before his phone went out with his emergency page alarm. Instinctively, the man immediately packed up his things, checking to see where he was needed. [#be0407 [i ‘The emergency room? Possible overdose? That’s not my department, though?’]] Matthias thought as he dashed from the cafeteria. He glanced at the message again. [#be0407 [i ‘The patient is missing!?’]] The information imbued the man with an extra sense of urgency. Well, urgency and anger. Matthias wondered who the hell left the patient alone, especially when faced with the possibility that the patient in question was overdosing on god-knows-what.]
[center A bit winded after his run across the hospital Matthias arrived in the E.R., quickly dropping off his brief case at the nurse’s station. He was then pointed towards an empty room in front of which a nurse and an unfamiliar man stood. [#cc0000 “Doctor Riedl! This is Mister Gerald, our patient’s personal assistant. Nurse Jacqueline isn’t anywhere to be found. But, we need to find your patient immediately. His blood tests are showing high levels of drug toxicity and we need to flush his system out now.”] the nurse stated, noticing how perturbed Matthias appeared. [#be0407 “First, I’m not an E.R. doctor, Nurse Maria. I am a surgeon. Second, he wouldn’t be missing if your staff were not incompetent enough to leave this high-risk patient by himself.”] Doctor Riedl replied, his tone calm, but his words scathing. [#be0407 “If it weren’t for your staff’s inability to do their damn job we could be administering treatment right now instead of messing about over your staff’s mistake.”] Matthias said, face stone cold serious.]
[center Nurse Maria understood Matthias’ anger, knowing that the nurse assigned to watch Dexter would be reprimanded into the next century. The repercussions waiting for that nurse were only mounting, as was Matt’s anger. But the man knew his anger was only secondary to the task at hand.]
[center Matthias then quickly flipped through the file handed to him by Nurse Maria, having to double check the name to make sure he read it right. [#be0407 “Herr Quinn? I just saw him yesterday and prescribed him medicine for pain management and to combat the inflammation in his wrist. He didn’t present with any signs of concussion, let alone anything pointing towards suicidal ideation.”] Matt just [i knew] that today was far too simple. [#be0407 “Nurse Maria, coordinate with security to find Herr Quinn, please. And do not stray from that goal. As for the nurse that abandoned her post, I would like to speak with her after this situation is resolved.”] he stated, Nurse Maria nodding before swiftly moving to follow through with Doctor Riedl’s request.]
[center Matthias then looked at Gerald. [#be0407 “Do you know if Herr Quinn has had a history of mental illness? I would like to rule out the possibility of a suicide attempt as soon as possible to prevent unnecessary admittance to a ward he does not have to be in.”] Dr. Riedl inquired, also providing a light explanation. Dealing with civilians was always a big grey area for Matthias. Either it went splendidly, or horribly wrong. That was why Matt was incredibly wary.]
[center [#be0407 “Or did he not read the bottle correctly?”] Dr. Riedl did hope that it was the latter. Despite that, Matthias did wonder what it was with Dexter. From falling down stairs and hurting himself, to visiting the emergency room after downing god knows how many pain pills, Matthias second guessed the medical clearance he gave Dexter. [#be0407 [i ‘Now we just have to find that man.’]] Dr. Riedl thought…]
[center Needless to say, post-appointment, Dexter was feeling fairly well about the entire ordeal. He'd gone home, had taken a few hours to relax, and by the end of it all, had curled up on the couch with his laptop to get some work done. Just because he was in his pyjamas didn't mean he couldn't be productive. It made conference calls a little awkward when it came to video chat, but hey, he wasn't complaining. Not really. Wearing a suit didn't make him a businessman. It was just a piece of his image.
Getting shit done? Now [i that] made him a businessman. Sighing as he shoved his mac aside, the man ventured into his kitchen to turn off the kettle and happily brewed the tea that would supposedly help him to sleep. His wrist had been throbbing since earlier in the day and only seemed to get worse. Healing pains, and all that, but he didn't want to call the good doctor unless it didn't improve. Last thing he needed was for the man to think him some sort of little bitch baby.
Then again... maybe it was? Now wouldn't [i that] be interesting? He mulled the thought over as he was making his way up the stairs to his bedroom, his body already heavy. He barely remembered crawling into bed that evening, but he very much recalled sliding his way back out at around four A.M. when he couldn't quite get comfortable. Gerald was awake, though, to his surprise, and didn't in the least bit mind staying on the phone with him whilst he bitched, but at some point he'd managed to get some actual rest.
* * *
The next morning, he was nothing but work. Work, small snacks, some exercise so as not to fall off of his regimen, and by the time midday had rolled around, he'd managed to get a decent chunk of his workload out of the way. There were two conferences in the city he'd actually had to attend, and one particular drag of a dinner he had been forced to attend by Gerald.
He was back by the evening, all things considered, cursing his existence and squinting at the medication he'd remembered to actually fill from the pharmacy.
[#1cc677 "Where the-... fuck are my glasses-"] He rifled through the end table, brow furrowed. [#1cc677 "Take one, as needed."] As needed? No time limit? He didn't see the fine print on the bottle, so maybe these were the sort that just kind of... made you feel better without all the danger and addiction of hard drugs?
Well, all right-y then! He took the first with some tea, deciding to give it a while. In the meantime, some dinner didn't seem like too bad of an idea. Except when it came to trying to feed himself because his dominant hand felt like it'd been slammed into a car door. Weren't these things supposed to be fast-acting? What was taking so long?
[i That] was pill number two, and subsequently number three for good measure. Pill number four a little before eleven was when things really got... strange. He'd been staring up at the ceiling from his floor, never hearing Gerald come in.
[#8559ab "Dex? Dexter?"] Why was it so quiet? [#8559ab "I brought you dinner!"]
Oh yeah, he'd called him to complain about that, hadn't he? [#1cc677 "Geeeer! Geraldooo~"] He chimed distantly.
[#8559ab "Where did you get off to?"] He rounded into the den, pausing for a moment when he found the redhead all stretched out on a tasteful fur rug. [#8559ab "Uhm... what exactly is this? Get off the floor, I brought the food you whined to me about-"]
[#1cc677 "Gerlad...rald, I missed you!"]
[#8559ab Hesitating, he huffed. "Have you been drinking?"] The bag of chinese takeaway was deposited onto the floor, and the brunet had crossed to better inspect his friend and peel him off of the floor. What he didn't expect was the small clatter. No glasses... no bottle. [#8559ab "I really hope you've been smoking or something."] That would have been safer. Shocking, but safer. Especially since Dexter didn't smoke.
[#1cc677 "Nopenopenope-"] Smiling sweetly at Gerald, he hardly realised when the man had taken his face betwixt his hands to better inspect him.
[#8559ab "Oh, God, what the fuck are you on?"]
[#1cc677 "Take one [i as needed], Gerri."]
[#8559ab "It's not PEZ candy, how much did you fucking take?"]
Shrugging, he nearly flopped back over, Gerald catching him by the front of his shirt. [#8559ab "Okay- okay, you know what? You're just going to come with me,"] He began, hauling his friend to his feet. [#8559ab "And we are going to pay a lovely visit to hospital and get you all sorted out-"]
[#1cc677 "No! I can't, the guy- with the- the face, and the eyes, that sir-"]
[#1cc677 "Yes, exactly. I'm too shy-"]
[#8559ab "No, no, I'm sure he'll be delighted to see you,"] He lied, hoisting him up over his shoulder when he fought. [#8559ab "Keep squirming and I'll drop you, right into the shrubbery."]
[#1cc677 "No! Ugh- I feel sick,"]
[#8559ab "Good, if you feel the urge to vomit, please do."]
The trip in wasn't too bad, and bringing him into the emergency wing had at least gotten them some immediate attention, but the moment he'd been relegated to one of the nearby examination areas, Dexter had gotten distracted. And as opportunity would have it, so had the nurse assigned to watch him in the meantime. Always a bitch when someone showed up trying to dispute charts.
[#8559ab "Yes, this is the medication. He's just over- Dex? Dexter?"] Gerald peered this way and that, scanning the small area. What the fuck? He was [i gone]. ]
[center A single brow perked up with faint amusement when Dexter pointed out to which department to fax the medical clearance letter. Matthias’ hand briefly fished the business card out of his white coat’s pocket, glancing at the information before placing it back. His green gaze then shifted itself onto his patient once more. [#be0407 “Do take care, Mister Quinn. Please refrain from falling anymore stairs. You can quite possibly break something if you do take another tumble.”] Doctor Riedl warned, not wanting Dexter to spend more time in the hospital than he had to. Given how the other male presented himself, Matthias figured that Dexter was a busy man that had places to go, people to see, and things to do. Unexpected hospital visits merely detracted valuable time from a packed schedule. And Matt understood all too well how important time and time management were in this day of age.]
[center For a moment Doctor Riedl carefully watched Dexter as he went on his own way. He did this to observe any latent skeletal or even neurological symptoms. However, Dexter’s gait and posture appeared normal in Matthias’ professional opinion. Thus, Doctor Riedl allowed the man to continue leaving. [#be0407 [i ‘Now I have to finish the rest of these appointments and get to work on that clearance letter for Herr Quinn.’]] Matthias thought, meticulously re-planning the remainder of his work day. But given that anything could happen in the hospital, Matt did count on clocking out on time. Often, Doctor Riedl had to stay late whether it be for paperwork or surgeries he was called upon for. And Matthias knew that after he completed his residency, he had to figure out if he wanted to open a private practice, or work in a hospital like this one. And if he did choose the hospital work environment that he would be on call a lot. It was all give and take as there were pros and cons to each option. But Matthias was aware that he still had time to make up his mind.]
[center As the day wore on Matthias was pleased to find out that the rest of his clinic patients had simple cases. Most of the patients that Matthias saw simply needed referrals to specialists who could do more to help than he was able to in the moment. After his last patient left, Matthias gave the files back to the nurses at their station to be organized and dealt with.]
[center Doctor Riedl proceeded to head to the cafeteria to grab something to eat while he had the time. Working in a busy hospital meant you never quite knew when you could sate your own hunger. Depending on the work load of that day, you were sometimes lucky to even have the time to [i consider] getting a bite to eat. But it was a common sacrifice made amongst hospital staff to ensure that patients were properly taken care of.]
[center And it was a perfectly timed breather as Matthias had been called upon for a surgery on a patient whose arm was broken in several spots after a falling off scaffolding at a construction site. In his head, Doctor Riedl couldn’t help but wonder why everyone seemed to be falling so suddenly. This patient had required a several plates and pins to be inserted in his arm before being patched up and sent to recovery. It was cut and dry, though unfortunate for the patient himself.]
[center After cleaning up Doctor Riedl finally sat down to compose Dexter’s clearance letter. [#be0407 “Busy, busy, busy…”] Matthias huffed as he began to write out an explanation of his diagnosis for Dexter. No concussion. No broken bones. Just nerve irritation as a result from swelling because of blunt force trauma from his fall. Dexter was still whole and clearly able to work, though Matthias made it clear that Dexter needed to keep the brace for at least a week before considering retiring it.]
[center [#be0407 “I’ll have a nurse fax it before filing it away.”] Matthias said to himself as he put his signature at the bottom of the form. He then handed it off to a nurse for faxing and filing. [#be0407 “Now, hopefully, he listened to what I told him to do. If not he’s only going to hurt those nerves more than he already has…”]]
[center It was always nice to be able to tell when someone had a genuine interest in their work, and Dexter was the last person to take that for granted. After all, the amount of sacrifices he made for his own were all too evident. It wasn't an exact comparison, but something about the way the doctor gave him a very detailed description of what he had deduced to be the issue made it evident that he was clearly very well learned.
It was a compliment in his mind. Medical doctors on a different end of the spectrum barely knew what they were doing half of the time, and that was always just a [i bit] terrifying. It wasn't like a misdiagnosis ever killed anybody - often. He flinched at the thought, tuning back into what was being said.
He flinched gently at first, surprised in his absent state by the light touch, but he quickly settled when he realised he was moments away from being freed of the terrible wrap. [#1cc677 "Just a tad, at their tips, but that might just be the bandages."]
The redhead then fell into silence, quietly indulging in the foreign cadences of Dr. Reidl's voice. It was a pleasant sound, and he had very little desire to interrupt him, sure that any questions that might come to mind could be saved for the end.
His mobile vibrated twice from where he'd placed it faced down beside him, but he looked none too concerned about who it might be that was trying to reach him. Were it his mother, she'd have already tried to call, so his only other thoughts were that his PA must have called her first.
Dr. Reidl was writing something - prescriptions, he quickly realised - and along with them came an explanation of their usage. He piddled with the straps of the brace in the meantime, his mind flashing back to his days in school. He'd had to wear braces on his wrists then, too. Except, it had been more often than not, and others had often regarded him as strange. Seeing it now gave him an uncomfortable burst of nostalgia.
[#1cc677 "Right- wait, no. I'm good, there's tea for that. I like to take as little medication as possible."] He didn't like anything having any potential effect on his judgment, and so far as he was concerned, natural medicine tended to be his go-to. Just in case, he would take the prescriptions, though. They might actually be necessary if he ended up unable to sleep. The appendage was still throbbing, after all.
Before long, though, it seemed that their appointment had come to a close. Dr. Reidl had risen to offer his hand and inform him of the Clinic's willingness to respond to any further concerns, and he'd carefully slid back onto his feet, the heels of his oxfords clicking once as they connected. He offered the man his uninjured hand, sliding it carefully into his for a proper shake. His fingertip brushed the inside of his wrist just slightly before he withdrew and fetched up his mobile.
[#1cc677 "Thank you again, for everything, and I would appreciate if you would send that letter. Here - it can be faxed to this department."] Dexter pointed it out on his card before slipping it into the man's pocket. He knew it was silly, and the doctor's other patients would surely serve to be of more interest - or at the very least, concern. The thought of lingering there whilst someone else might very well need him was upsetting.
[#1cc677 "I'll be sure to call should anything come up."] Or for no reason at all. That, too, was very likely. Already, he missed the man's accented intonations, but he willed himself to move for the door.
With one hand, he'd carefully buttoned his blazer, dipping out into the hall where a few nurses just stared. Did he really seem all that out of place here? Peering down at himself, he swallowed and quickly determined that it must have been so. He had to guess that patients with a lot of money had the potential to cause a lot of problems. His parents, however, had raised him far better than that.
Squinting under the harshness of the light, he strode down the hallway and hated every moment of it. His body was still very much aching and all he could think of was how wonderful it would be when he could sink into a steaming tub at last. First, however, he had a couple of stops to male. He'd pick up the prescriptions first and bring them along to his second.
At the very least, a day off didn't sound all that bad right about then. He could use the time to decompress - even if it pushed back his schedule a bit.]
[center It was no lie that Matthias picked up Dexter’s initial attitude. It seemed a bit scatter-brained in the Austrian’s opinion. [#be0407 [i ‘I’d expect at least a minor concussion after falling down stairs. Perhaps I should have those tests re-done?’]] Matthias silently pondered. [#be0407 [i ‘We’ll have to wait and see. Then I’ll proceed if there’s anything suspicious.’]]]
[center Occasionally glancing at Dexter’s x-ray images, the doctor carefully listened to what his patient had to say. [#be0407 “A strange happenstance? [i How strange.]”] he echoed, the faintest of chuckles lacing his voice. No matter how old he was, nor level of medical experience, hearing others use the English language was always a trip. Since his native tongue was Austrian German, Matthias always felt at least a pang of mirth whenever he heard something different. [#be0407 [i ‘If I hadn’t studied medicine, I’d have gone for linguistics.’]] Dr. Riedl then pushed the absent-minded thoughts to the back of his mind to get back on topic.]
[center [#be0407 “Well, bruised pride is far better than a broken arm, I’d believe. If you broke anything I’d have to see you over in Orthopedics.”] Matthias mentioned, deciding to focus on Dexter’s wrist complaint first. Doctor Riedl proceeded to place vinyl gloves on his hands. He then approached Dexter and gently took hold of his hand to examine it. Right off the bat Matthias noticed the support bandages around Dexter’s wrist were bound far too tightly. [#be0407 “Part of your problem might just be that these bandages are bound too tightly to your wrist. Extreme constriction not only exacerbates your wrist’s condition, it cuts off its blood supply. And we can’t have that, now can we?”] Matt spoke, honestly trying to make Dexter’s clinic visit feel less uncomfortable. [#be0407 [i ‘Nobody really likes seeing us doctors. At least not around here.’]] he thought, his fingers nimbly maneuvering themselves to unwind the bandages while Matthias’ free hand supported Dexter’s.]
[center [#be0407 “Do you have any numbness in any of your fingers?”] Matthias inquired, taking great care in being as delicate as possible. One of the benefits of having surgical experience was that he had a trained tender touch. Especially in orthopedic surgery, one wrong move and a patient could be left disabled, so a careful touch was crucial.]
[center [#be0407 “The bruising I say is from the blunt force trauma of your fall, not from broken bones. Given that, I can assume you possibly tried to cushion your fall with your hand outreached.”] Doctor Riedl noted before turning Dexter’s palm up. Pointing towards the fleshy side of the man’s hand Matthias prepared to give an explanation.]
[center [#be0407 “There are two main nerves running through the wrist before branching out into your hand. The one on this side is called the ulnar nerve. The other is the median nerve. Subsequent swelling in the surrounding tissue of your palm and wrist is irritating those nerves.”] Matthias spoke, already forming a treatment game plan in his mind. He then gingerly set Dexter’s hand down, peeling off his gloves and disposing of them. The man then straightened up his white coat, a motion that was purely out of habit. [#be0407 “I’ll step out for just a moment and get a you a supportive brace for your wrist. I truly appreciate your patience while you’re here.”] the doctor said before he exited the exam room to track down the proper brace he believed Dexter needed.]
[center It took a couple of minutes, but Matthias did try his best to make a speedy return. Upon coming back to the exam room, he knocked once more before entering. It really was the courteous thing to do.]
[center [#be0407 “Alright, I have a brace here for you to wear for a week. This will immobilize your wrist, but leave your fingers out.”] Matthias stated as he undid the Velcro straps, handing the brace to Dexter. [#be0407 “Just place your thumb through the opening, place the sides down, and secure with the straps.”] The doctor kindly instructed. He then took a seat before flipping through Dexter’s patient. Matthias soon pulled out his prescription pad to begin writing. [#be0407 "I’m also giving you an anti-inflammatory medicine to be taken twice a day. And a pain management prescription to be taken on an as needed basis.”]]
[center [#be0407 “However, the pain medicine could block you up, so if you find yourself in need of relief over the counter stool softeners are available. Miralax, Dulcolax, and Colace are just a few and are inexpensive. Simply follow the instructions on the box if you need to use the product.”] Matthias added, handing Dexter the prescription sheets. [#be0407 “Also! I noticed a reminder in your file stating you need a medical clearance letter? I can have that written up and faxed to the provided number by the end of the day if that’s all right.”] Doctor Riedl offered a smile. [#be0407 “You’re surely not concussed, nor is anything broken. But if your wrist does not improve, or gets worse, in a week or so, feel free to return and we’ll go down a different avenue.”]]
[center Standing from his seat Matthias held out his hand. [#be0407 “I do wish you have a great day, despite your strange happenstance. If any questions or concerns arise at any time don’t hesitate to call into the clinic. We’ll do our best to accommodate your needs, Mister Quin…”]
[center It felt like an eternity that he was left in his own company. Not, of course, because they'd neglected to check in with him, but because he could do nothing until this examination was over. It seemed like the only reason he was even doing this was for proof that he was A-okay. No one would question an official visit to state that nothing was wrong with him after his tumble, and it was all the better. The last thing Dexter Quinn wanted was for some bloke to move in on his territory.
After all, the business world was a figurative shark tank. You showed any weakness whatsoever and others would take advantage. He could recall not so long ago when one of his associates had come under fire. His health and emotional state had come into question, the media serving only to kindle the rapidly spreading disquiet amongst clients and shareholders alike.
It seemed like an eternity ago already, but he couldn't help but feel a pang of concern should any of this get out. They'd been as discreet as possible, and he'd made it perfectly clear that he didn't want an ambulance. No medical bus, no attention, no panic. If anyone else fell down the stairs and activated EMS, it was fine, but if one ever pulled up to his place, it'd be front page news.
Day-to-day? He dealt with some pretty rank bastards. Always after what was [i his]. This was one of the reasons that the ginger both loved and despised the business world. There was something ever so satisfying about staking a claim before your competitor - beating them to punch, as they called it.
Really, it was all a vicious game. Money was just a bargaining tool, used to base threats or alliances, and depending upon how you spun it, it only came back to bite you [i some] of the time.
Already, he was contemplating all of the time he was losing with his ass just plastered in place this way. He should have been in a meeting - renewing contracts - certainly not glaring bitterly at the overly enthusiastic 'patients' plastering the latest office PSA.
[i 'Paging Doctor Reidl to Exam Room three--']
Snapping immediately out of his daze, Dexter glanced up at the small plaque that announced his own as the corresponding area.
[i Finally.] Before long, he'd be able to get out of there and get some actual work done. Rubbing impatiently at his eyes, he tried not to look [i too] salty for when the doctor came in. It wasn't the physician's fault he'd been careless, after all. Absently, he wondered if it would be a man or a woman. Not that it mattered, exactly. His only purpose here was a quick assessment, and then he'd be skipping his way through the door-
[i [#1cc677 Wait a goddamn minute-]]
Startled by the sight that came striding into the room, he glanced back through the doorway, wondering if this was some joke. This couldn't have been his doctor?
[i [+maroon "Hallo! I’m Doctor Riedl and I’ll be your physician today, Mister Quinn."]]
[i [#1cc677 Hot fucking damn-]]
[i [#1cc677 "Yes- ah-"]] English? Why couldn't he remember it?
Blinking a few times, Dexter licked his lips, brow suddenly furrowed in bemusement. Was this karma repaying him for jacking up his day? Was his unlucky start really just a setup for what was to come?
Frank Sinatra suddenly began to filter through his mind and he was lost - staring the good doctor down like some sort of automaton.
The best had yet to come [i indeed], and now he was staring at the face of this handsome Austrian gent, completely forgetting why he was there in the first place.
[#1cc677 "Yes, a strange... happenstance. Most of what's bruised is my pride, I think, but my wrist hurts quite a bit."] Enough that it was already beginning to bruise and swell, and whomever had tended to him had wrapped him a little too tight. His fingertips were going numb.
Still staring, he had to remind himself to blink. Nobody liked creepy serial killer eyes. That rubbish was [i not] cute.]
[center Another early morning, yet another day of sifting through and making sense of a menagerie of patient’s symptoms. Early on in Matthias’ career the man loathed having to serve his time as a primary care physician. It was not because he disliked the people who sought out treatment, though. As a young doctor, the Austrian-born man wanted to focus in time and energy on his specialty of orthopedic surgery. It had been a great annoyance because it felt like everyone treated having a runny nose like they were dying of a malignant brain tumor. It was hypochondriacs that initially made Matthias run to the hills away from General Practice. There was just no way the man could stay sane when often people had a cold or needed and update on their inoculations.]
[center However, he did find that the only good thing about fulfilling his clinic hours were the kids who came in for a check-up, school physical, etc. He felt bad that a lot of them were scared to be seen by a doctor, but Matthias tried his best to make the experience less traumatizing. It was the little things that seemed to make a difference for children. Like, whenever a child had to get their scheduled immunizations Matthias let them choose the colored band-aids they wanted. Sometimes he even drew little faces on the outside of the bandage and gave the child a lollipop before sending the off with their parents. Most children seemed to focus on Matthias talking, though. They generally found his accent intriguing. Therefore, simply chatting with them helped soothe their nerves. His pediatric patients didn’t even refer to him by his name. Just Doctor Austria as soon as they found out where he was from.]
[center And, that’s generally what the man’s day consisted of so far. While it allowed Matthias to have a well-deserved breather from his ortho surgery residency, he was suspicious. Nothing was ever [i this] simple. The man just felt that something was coming. What it was, Matthias did not know. But he couldn’t help but wonder what was in store for the day ahead.]
[center As time wore on, Matthias reviewed a multitude of x-rays and the like with a senior physician just wanting a consult with a nearby resident doctor. That was between patients in the clinic. His previous patient was a young woman to whom he told tested positive on her pregnancy test. While she hadn’t taken the news too lightly, she wasn’t angry as she left with a referral to an OB/GYN and an anti-nausea prescription to be taken on an as needed basis. Matthias had always been somewhat skittish about telling females they were pregnant. But that was because the father of a past patient assaulted Matthias after he shared the news of the teen girl’s pregnancy. The male hadn’t been able to understand why the father would attack the physician that was simply doing his job. It was just the unexpected perils of GP work.]
[center For a moment Matthias found himself being pulled aside by yet another one of his superiors. This time there was a patient who presented with several broken bones, difficulty breathing, and paralysis of his lower limbs after falling from a roof of a house. There was a considerable amount of back and forth on how to go about treatment, something that wasn’t unusual. While Matthias was never opposed to learning something from those more experienced than himself, as a doctor, he wasn’t easily swayed away from his convictions. He always back himself up with facts and even examples to support his medical opinion. This facet; his extreme attention to detail, [i usually] worked in Matthias’ favor. And if it didn’t, the man tried to turn it into a learning experience instead of an outright failure.]
[center [i ‘Paging Doctor Riedl to Exam Room Three. Paging Doctor Riedl to Exam Room Three.’]]
[center The voice on the intercom made Matthias excuse himself from his current conversation. He then swung by the nurse’s station to pick up the corresponding file and to get the general report of what he’ll be walking into.]
[center [#7b72b6 “Male, twenty-six. He came in after falling down some stairs. He hit his head and his shoulder took much of the force from the fall. No concussion. He already had x-rays done and are in the file for your review.”] the nurse nodded, noticeably exasperated. Matthias sympathized with the woman greatly. Work in a hospital really took its toll. [#be0407 “Thank you very much, Nurse Jacobs. Keep up the good work!”] the man offered her a smile before opening the file to check its contents. He did so as he walked towards the exam room he had been assigned to. Once at the door he gave a healthy knock, letting a moment pass before walking in.]
[center [#be0407 “Hallo! I’m Doctor Riedl and I’ll be your physician today, Mister Quinn.”] Matthias greeted, finding himself slowly returning to the more chipper side of things. [#be0407 “So, I’ve been told you took an unfortunate tumble down some stairs?”] he probed, which was standard procedure. He placed Dexter’s x-rays on a wall mounted light board before turning the light on. It quickly became evident that nothing in the man’s neck, shoulder, or back was broken. It certainly didn’t take a brain surgeon to see that. But he’d address those after examining Dexter’s shoulder. [#be0407 “I can tell you nothing is broken, but do tell me about your pain levels. Where is it located? How severe is it? Are you experiencing any loss of motion in your arm there?”]]
[center Matthias knew that he probably sounded a bit automated. But it just happened when you’re always in and out of patient examinations. Plus, he was working to be a surgeon, not a primary care physician. Generally, in surgery the patient was out under anesthesia, not fully conscious like Dexter. Regardless, Matthias’ only goal was to help the man before him and get him on the right track to recovery with the right types of therapy…]
[center Usually his mornings tended to be full of excitement - and no, not the sort most might've suspected him of. Usually it involved ripping himself out of his sheets and hopping into the shower before he had to rush into office. Even breakfast was typically prepared by the time his feet touched the polished wood floors.
[i Usually], it was a light morning meal, then a short business call on his way in, a ridiculous ride up to a ridiculously numbered floor to head into his office, and his second green tea, non fat, iced latte with coconut milk. You know, because starting the day off right [i did] matter.
Every day, it went off without a hitch, and he was back home by the early evening. No complications, no mess.
...or so he'd [i thought.]
See, the issue with moving at such dangerously set pace was that you missed all sorts of shit. You missed holidays, missed friends, missed news, and oh- sometimes? You missed the [i fucking] stairs.
Dexter was still reeling from that one. Seething as he sat on a small examination table where the nurses had placed him for the time being. Someone had checked him for any signs of a concussion, but he'd been too spaced to really keep up. It just didn't make any [i sense]. Of all the foolishness he could have come across in a day, why [i that]?
He'd gone sky-diving, bungie jumping, snowboarding, free climbing, and in all of his experience, not once had he ever sustained a serious injury. So, [i why] in the actual [i hell] was it that he was sitting in the doctor's office for an unlucky spill down the stairs, cradling his arm to his chest?
Hair ruffled and cheeks flushed, he cut eyes at the small banner advertising good health practise, deciding instead to sift through a few messages.
Really? His secretary had called his mother? Dropping his head forward, he pinched the bridge of his nose and took several breaths. With each that filled his chest, he could feel the frustration melting away. The physical tension, however, had yet to leave. Already, he was sure bruises were forming. His shoulder had connected the hardest besides his head or the arm that had yet to be determined as broken or merely injured.
Now that his adrenaline wasn't exactly numbing him up, he could feel the aches really set in.
[i It's not so terrible.] a small voice told him, despite the way he was gritting his teeth.
He combed fingers gingerly through his red locks, careful not to make any sudden movements for fear of exacerbating anything.
After this, he was going to need a long, hot soak.]
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